Wednesday, September 21, 2011


It's the most fitting word to describe NBC's big Monday prime time launch, "The Playboy Club," carefully positioned to lure some of the male audience away from ESPN's football telecasts.

(That pilot episode is already available on-line... free! It's still too expensive!)

This from the peacock network which once boasted distinguished plumage such as "Hill Street Blues," "St. Elsewhere," "L.A. Law" and "The West Wing."

A virtually no-name cast... the emerging Amber Heard excepted... does what it can, but the writing is so awful that there's a cringe-worthy line in nearly every scene.

One has to wonder just how this vacuous drivel even got on the schedule!

Yes, scantily-clad women can be a strong in­ducement to divert the gaze of the male 13-∞ demographic from football, but this is early '60s style, and there's more feminine pul­chri­tude exposed in today's afternoon "soaps" if network honchos were trolling for the lascivious audience.

And I'm not discounting the possibility that Hugh Hefner provided some funding for this show as part of a public relations campaign!

(Hefner's voice is heard in some intermit­tent and extraneous narration, and his character appears, "Charlie"-like, from the rear, in the person of Dan Stearns.)

Actually, the show's slot on NBC's schedule owes as much to AMC's "Mad Men" as it does to any Hefner influence.

It's taken the broadcast networks all this time to catch on to the four-time Emmy-winning cable series' appeal... ABC's "coffee, tea or me" series, "Pan Am," also set in the '60s, debuts this Sunday evening.

(An interesting aesthetic note: when Tina Turner, played by actress Karen LeBlanc, performs at Playoy's flagship key club, the act is correctly billed as "The Ike and Tina Turner Revue." )

Ultimately, the most shocking aspect of "The Playboy Club" is its utter banality, and if "Hef" didn't have a nasty memo on the desks of NBC executives yesterday morning, I'd be disappointed.

It likely won't help... "TPC" is a strong can­didate for an early axing, and whichever suits green-lit the series, should be right behind it.


1. Rob F. said...

"The Playboy Club," "Pan Am," "Charlie's Angels," and a bunch of other young-attractive-female-lead series are on the tube for the 2011 season. Network execs are apparently herd critters that drink from the same trough. And babes are "in" this season.

I think "babes" have always been in, withstanding the "enlightenment" efforts of the Glorias, Allred (née "Bloom") and Steinem.

For me, I see it as a return of sorts to the '70s.

2. Crabby said...

How depressing.

Southampton Town politics has become a very dirty game... whatever your feelings about Linda Kabot, her 10th hour appearance is throwing a lot of best laid plans agley.

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